OECD Global Blockchain Policy Forum

Welcome from the OECD, Ministerial keynote and high-level dialogue: "Will the revolution be tokenised? Assessing blockchain’s promise and progress in the public sphere"

Sep 15, 2021 | 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM


Introduction: Mathilde Mesnard, Acting Director for Financial and Enterprise Affairs, OECD Welcome address: Mathias Cormann, Secretary General of the OECD Ministerial keynote: Rt Hon Jesse Norman MP, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, United Kingdom High-level discussion: In 2015 The Economist magazine hailed blockchain as “the trust machine”, capable of replacing governance structures, displacing institutions and bringing a new level of transparency to transactions and information, with implication across public life. In the years since, the technology has produced trillion-dollar decentralised financial markets and a slew of innovation over enterprise blockchains but also, as OECD research shows, no breakthrough innovations in government and minimal impact in the public sector. The radical disruption foreshadowed by the technology’s enthusiasts still seems distant, dependent on pre-existing robust public governance systems, and in need of regulatory guardrails. The raison d’etre of many public institutions is the provision of public goods, and the underwriting of rights and the social contract – functions that blockchain’s pioneers sought to replace with cryptography, networks and protocols. Whether this technology will be used to either displace or complement traditional governance models is an open question, as is its ability to deliver such transformation. The Forum’s opening discussion brings together three thought-leaders at the intersect of tech and governance to disentangle blockchain’s promise from reality, and explore the extent to which the technology can be guided by governments towards better models of social and economic connection.

Presented by

Explore Suggested Sessions